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The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) rejected an application submitted with negative declaratory order or exemption claim for the distribution agreements planned to be signed between Solgar Vitamin ve Sağlık Ürünleri Sanayi ve T.A.Ş. (“Solgar”) and Navita İlaç ve Sağlık Ürünleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., which is controlled by Solgar regarding the vitamin and food supplement products by its decision (“Decision”) dated 9 September 2021 and dated 21-42/611-298. The rationale of the Decision was published on the Turkish Competition Authority’s website on 3 June 2022.

It is seen in the decision that Solgar aimed to prevent the purchases of the consumers from the channels other than the pharmacies with the relevant contracts in order to prohibit the sale of counterfeit and unauthorized products. In this way; it has been stated in the decision that the pharmacies will be appointed as sub-distributors by the provisions of the relevant contracts and their wholesale sales to the third parties, sales to the third parties other than the consumers (especially to the other pharmacies) and their exchanges with these parties and sales to the e-commerce consumers will be prohibited.

In the Decision, it has been determined that sales prohibitions imposed to e-commerce customers prevent accessing products with cheaper prices, increase searching costs and decrease options. It has also been stated that the sales restrictions do not comply with the purpose of preventing counterfeit and unauthorized products. Consequently, the Board decided that the relevant contracts cannot benefit from the block and individual exemption and rejected Solgar’s application.

In this regard, we have seen the hardline position of the Board against restrictions regarding internet sales one more time.


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